Ebola Research at Notre Dame, IU School of Medicine Funded by Indiana CTSI

Author: Brandi Klingerman

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) has provided support for Olaf Wiest, University of Notre Dame professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Robert Stahelin, Indiana University School of Medicine associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and adjunct associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Notre Dame, through the Notre Dame-CTSI Project Development Team.

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Stahelin and Wiest’s collaborative research, “Inhibition of Ebola Virus (EBOV) and EBOV-like Particles by Targeting the Dimer Interface of the EBOV Matrix Protein, VP40,” is investigating the development of a new class of therapeutics against Ebola. Currently, there are no Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs or vaccines for this virus, making novel approaches to inhibiting the transmission of the disease vital.

The project is a collaboration between Wiest, an expert in computational drug design, and Stahelin, whose lab studies viruses such as Ebola. Wiest will work to design molecules that inhibit EBOV in human cells and Stahelin will test the effectiveness of the inhibitor’s ability to block viral replication.

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Both Wiest and Stahelin are members of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development, a College-level center that focuses on the discovery and development of new therapeutic leads for the treatment of unmet clinical needs in a number of areas including cancer, infectious diseases, and a number of rare diseases.

The mission of the Diagnostics and Therapeutics Notre Dame Project Development Team is to provide expertise in an advisory capacity in the area of drug discovery and associated aspects of diagnostics. The PDT can support researchers in all areas of translational research, as well as up to $10,000 in seed funding.

The Indiana CTSI is a statewide collaboration between Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame, as well as public and private partnerships, whose mission is to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care. The Indiana CTSI provides funding opportunities for researchers and currently proposals for Pilot Funding for Research Use of Core Facilities, Community-Based research Pilot Projects, and Notre Dame Project Development Team: Diagnostics and Therapeutics are open for applications.

For more information on the Indiana CTSI, including funding opportunities, please visit ctsi.nd.edu.